Vaginal Prolapse Treatment in Arlington Heights, IL
The vagina is a muscular, tube-shaped organ that composes part of the female reproductive system. It extends from the vulva or outer portion of the female genitals to the cervix inside the body. The vagina is a key part of sexual arousal and performance. It is also called the "birth canal".
Over time, the muscles of the vagina can weaken and begin to sag or droop as support structures that hold it in place begin to weaken. This is called a vaginal prolapse and the condition is caused by pelvic floor relaxation. Pelvic floor relaxation can cause support for the rectum, bladder, and urethra to sag as well.
Vaginal Prolapse Causes
The most common causes of vaginal prolapse include:
- Childbirth, especially having large babies
- Advanced age
- Strenuous physical activity
- A history of pelvic surgery
Vaginal prolapse is most common in women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy).
Vaginal Prolapse Symptoms
Many women who experience a vaginal prolapse report feeling a sensation that something is "dragging" or "out of place" in the vagina. Symptoms may vary slightly depending on where in the vagina a prolapse is located.
In some cases, the vagina may actually protrude out through the vaginal opening to the outside of the body.
Other common symptoms of vaginal prolapse include:
- Painful sex
- Pressure or pain in the vagina or pelvis
- Decreased pressure when laying down
- A lump in the opening of the vagina
- Recurring urinary tract infections
Vaginal Prolapse Diagnosis
The best way to diagnose a vaginal prolapse is for your healthcare provider to ask questions about your symptoms and then perform a physical exam . He or she may ask you to sit upright and strain, or bear down to see how the vagina and muscles respond.
Your provider will need to examine your vagina closely for problems and he or she may also examine other areas like your bladder or urethra to test their muscle strength and any signs of prolapse.
You may also need tests like an ultrasound, MRI or studies of your bladder for more information.
Non-Surgical Treatment of Vaginal Prolapse
Most vaginal prolapses will get worse with time. If you are not sexually active and the prolapse isn't causing discomfort or other problems, your provider may suggest non-surgical treatment. This may include:
- Hormonal (estrogen) therapy to strengthen muscle tone of the vagina
- Electrical stimulation to strengthen the muscles
- Pessaries - a small plastic device that's placed in the vagina for support
- Kegel exercises
- Activity modification - avoid heavy straining or lifting
Surgical Management of Vaginal Prolapse
Surgical management is best for women who are sexually active and in cases where the vaginal prolapse is problematic or painful. Many healthcare providers are now accessing the vagina laparoscopically through the abdomen - this means they use only small incisions and a camera to operate.
Repair is made while you are under general anesthesia and you can expect to stay in the hospital for 2-4 days depending on how extensive your repair was and if other areas (such as the rectum or urethra) also needed to be repaired.
Request More Information
To request more information about vaginal prolapse and its treatment, please call (847) 243-6262 or contact Dr. Marilyn Mitchell online.
HealingSpace Medical Center
Address2075 Foxfield Rd
St. Charles, IL 60174
7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Tue: 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Wed: 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm